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Full text of "A sermon preach'd before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and governors of the several city hospitals. At St. Brigit's, on Tuesday in Easter-week, April 26, 1709"

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Sermon preach ! d before the 
Right Honorable Lord Mayor 







p rea eh'd before 

The Right Honourable 




Governors of the fevcral City 

A T 

St. B RIG IT\ 

On Tuesday in E^/?<?r-Week, Afril 2.6,170$. 


of CarliJIe^ Preacher at the Rolls > and Chaplain 
in Ordinary to Her MAJESTY. 


rinted for Henry Clements, at the Half-Moott t in 
Sr. Pant's Church-yard. 1709. 


ng farther from us, and place it more out of 
fight: not) I h^-> without a merciful Intention 
of giving us, in his good time, what we have 
not now ask'd in fuch a folemn manner as became 
us$ and of enhanftng the Value of the Gift, hy the 
Delay of it. I am fure> how Jong foever we may 
wait for it, it will fc leftowcd much fooner than we 
flail deferve it. 
My Lord, 

The Subject of this Difcourfe, is Charity 5 and the 
Dejign of it is, tojlir uf the Minds ofthofe, whom God's 
good Providence hath blefs'd with great Abundance j 
and, Joy that means, with a Power of hleffing many 
others. On this account (without other Confederations) 
I could not have fitch' 4 on a Name, to which I might 
have infcr&d it more froferly than that of your Lord" 
Jhif. I offer it to Tou, my Lord, with all the Re- 
fpett that becomes me$ and with hearty Wijhes, that 
the earthly Felicities you poffcfs, may, by jour wife 
and good Ufe of f hem, lead to the Enjoyment of thofe 
which are eternal I am 

Your Lord/hip's 


Moft Obedient Humble Servant, 

Francis Atterbury. 


S E R M O N 

Preach'd before the 

Right Honourable the Lord -Mayor 
and Court of Aldermen, 

LUKE x. 31. 

He came* and looked on hint) and faffed by on the 
other fide. 

THESE Words are part of our Saviour's Pa- 
rable, concerning the Traveller, that fell 
among Thieves $ who Jlripp'd, and 'wounded 
him) and left him half dead. It happen'd, that 
feme Paflengers (bon afterwards came that way, and, 
among the reft, a Levite ; who, hearing the Groans 
of the wounded Perfon, or, perhaps, having an ob- 
fcure view of him at a diftance, came nearer to in- 
form himfelt more particularly of the Matter : And, 
when he had done fo, ftay'd not to aflift, or com- 
fort that miferable Man j but retired immediately, 
and puriu'd his Journey. He came,, and looked on 

B him, 

A Spital SERMON, 

him, and faffed Toy on the other Jide. It Teems to be 
intimated in thefe Words, that this PafTenger felt 
ibme degree of Concern, at the fight of fo moving 
411 Qbjecl, and 'therefore withdrew himfelf in hafte,, 
as *K)t being willing to ,ir*iulge it. Doubtlefs, 'n 
was not void of all CompafTion, nor \vholly igno- 
rant of his Duty in fucha Cafe 5 .but he made a fliift 
to excufe himfelf from the neceflity of performing 
it. fc Hisjo.urney might require the utmoft hafte^ 
" and why fliould he interrupt it to no P.urpofe ? For 
" he could be of no ufe to the wounded 'Perfbn, 
" nor had any manner of Skill in Surgery : It was 
" poffible, that the fame Band of Robbers might 
" light upon Him alfo, if he ftay'd longer in that 
" Place-, or, perhaps, there might be a Feint, a 
" Contrivance in the Matter, to draw him into feme 
cc (ecret Ambuih." By fuch Pretences as thefe he 
feems to have (atisfy'd himfelf, and ftifled the 
Sentiments, which Natural Pity and Religion could 
not but fuggeft to him : He came, and looked on 
the flriffd and wounded Traveller, and faffed by on 
the other fide. A lively Image, this, of the Indiffe- 
rence and Negled, s^uh which too many of us, 
tod often look on red Objeds cf .Ch-iriJyi r.nd of 
the Excufesy by which we endeavour to juflifie fuch 
Negledls, and to deceive our felves into an Opini- 
on, that they are not Culpable] It ihall be my Bu- 
iineG, in what follows, to corfider the Pleas, that 
are commonly made Life of to this Purpofe, and to 


PreacWd before the Lord-Mayor, &c. 3 

fhew thelnftffficitncy, and Weakness of them. For, 
indeed, Thefe are the moft ordinary, and moft ef- 
fectual Impediments to the Exercife of Charity. J Tis 
not, becaufe we are ignorant of the important Na- 
ture of this Duty, and of the great Strefs that is 
lay'd upon it in Scripture 5 of the Motives which 
invite, and of the Obligations which bind us to the 
Performance of it : I* fay, it is not on any of thefe 
Accounts, that we neglect the Practice of Charity $ 
but becaufe we look upon our (elves, as exempted 
from the General Rule, by vertue of fbme falfe Pleas 
and Pretences, which we fet up $ and which 1 ihall 
now, therefore, particularly enumerate, andexamin: 
not without an Eye, all along, on thofe Excellent 
InfUtut'ums of Charity, which it is the peculiar De- 
fign of this Annual Solemnity to Promote, and En- 

I. And the Firft and . chief Plea, under which 
Men generally take Shelter, is that of Inability. 
" Their Circumftances will not permit them to be- 
" come Benefidlors 5 the Publick Weight of Taxes > 
(t the General Decay of Traffick, and fome particu- 
ff lar LcffeS) they have felt, lie heavy upon them^ 
rc their Families, and their Creditors do of Right lay 
<f claim to all they pofiefs , and it would be an In- 
f( jury to both, iliould they otherwife difpcfe of it. 
(C The Care of the Poor is not committed to Them, 
f but to the Rich, and Prosperous, and Cliikiieis. ' 

B i No\v, 

A Spital SERMON, 

Now, it is true, that from Thefe the moil bound- 

ful Supplies are expefted j Thefeare the great Springs, 

that chiefly feed the general Current of Charity 5 for 

to 'whom much is given, of them Jhall be much re- 

*Luke attired*. However, there is dill a Proportion due 

m 4 ' even from Thofe, who are not Blefs'd with their 

Affluence $ and, before we can excufe our felves 

from paying it, it will behove us to confider 

Whether there be no unneceflary Expences, that 
we fupport j fuch, as are unfuitable to our Circum- 
ftances, and the Duties of our Rank and Station do 
not require , whether we are not too Magnificent 
and Sumptuous in our Table, and Attendance 5 in 
our Attire, and Furniture , in our Houfes, and Gar- 
dens of Pleafure : Whether we do not fquander a- 
way fome part of our Fortune at Play, or indulge 
(bme coftly Vice, which eats up all we have to {pars 
from the reafonable Conveniencies of Life, and the 
juft Demands of our Family. For, if any ofthefe 
be the Cafe, we have no right to plead Inability, in 
refpecl of Works of Mercy, which our Faults, and 
our Follies only hinder, us from promoting ; buc 
ought immediately to retrench thofe fuperfluous Ex- 
pences, in order to qualify our felves for the Exercife 
of Charity. ; 

The Publick Burthens,, thb' they may be a good 
Reafbn for our not expending fo much in Charity, 1 
as perhaps we might otherwife do, yet will noc 
juitify us in giving Nothing j efpecially, if, as thofe 


PreacVd before the Lord-Mayor, &c. 5 

Burthens increafe, we take care to improve in our 
Frugality and Diligence 5 Virtues, which always 
become us, but more particularly in Times of War, 
and Publick Expence ; however a diflblute People, 
whom God (in fpight of all their Vanities and Vi- 
ces) has blefs'd with Succefs, may at prefent difre- 
gard them. 

Oar private Lojfes, and Misfortunes, may indeed 
unqualify us for Charity : but it were worth our 
while, ferioufly to reflect, whether they might not 
originally be in fome meafure owing to the want of 
it, 1 mean, whether fuch LofTes may not have 
been inflidied by God, as a juft Punifhment of our 
former Avarice and Unmercifulnefs, when we had 
it more in our Power than now (and yet had it as 
little in our Will) to be Charitable. And if (a, 
can we take a furer, or nearer way towards repair- 
ing thofe LofTes, than by betaking our {elves to the 
Practice of that Duty, the Omiilion of which oc- 
cafion'd them? For the Lips of Truth have faid-j 
He that giveth unto the Poor flail not lack *. The Li- *Prov, 
loeral Soul flail be made Fat$ and he that watered, f 11 ' 
flail be watered alfo himfelf*. fProv. 

Our Children and Families have indeed a Right 
to inherit our Fortunes ; but not altogether in Ex- 
clufion to the .Poor, who have alfo a Right (even 
God's Right) to partake cf them, As, therefore, 
we ought not to defraud our Children, for the fake 
of .the Poor ; fo neidier ought we to rob the Poor 



A Spital SERMON, 

of their Share, for the fake of our Children : for 
this is a kind of Sacrilege, and may prove an eat- 
ing Canker, and a confirming Moth in the Eftate 
that we leave them. Have thy Children a due 
Senfe of Religion ? They will be pleas'd, that thou 
haft made a Pious Difpofal of fuch a Part of thy 
Fortunes, as will fanclifie and fecure the reft to 
them : Are they Ungracious and Diflblute ? Thou 
haft the lefs reafon in thy Charitable Diftributions 
to regard them j who, perhaps, when thou art gon, 
will be the moft forward to tax thy needkfs Parfi- 
mony, and will fpend in Riot, what was fav'd by 

Out of a tender Concern, therefore, for the 
Welfare of thy Family $ that very Concern, which 
makes thee iliut thy Hand to the Poor ; open it, 
and {carter among them a proper Portion of the 
good Things of Life -, and be not Faitblefs, but Be- 
lieving, that Thou, and They flail be Bk/ed m thy 
Deed : for there is that Scattertth, and yet Increajeth ; 
and there is that luithholdetb more than .is meet, but 
./Y tendeth to Poverty*. 

As to the Excu(e drawn from the Demands of Cre- 
ditors, if it be real, it is unaniwenlble : for no 
Alms can be given, but out of what is properly our 
Own j and nothing is our Own, but what remains 
to us, after all our juft Debts are (atisfy'd. How- 
ever, there is one (or t of Debt, which, to whom- 
cever it is Owing, can -Only be Paid to the Poor $ 


Preach' d before the Lord-Mayor, 

1 mean, when,, in the courfe of our Dealing, we 
have cither done Wrong ignorantly, or have after- 
wards forgotten the Wrong, which we at firft 
knowingly did ; or have not within our Memory, 
or Reach, the Perfbns to whom we did it. In 
fiich Cafes, all the Reparation we are capable of 
making, is, to bdlow what \ thus gotten by In- 
juftice, on proper Objects of Chanty. Which is 
agreeable to the good Pattern fet by Zacch<zus ; Be 
bold, Lord, lays he, the half of my Goods I give to 
the Poor, and if I have taken any thing from any 

Man I reft ore him four- fold *. He refblves to * Luke 

make PerfonalRejlitution,v/\iziz the Wrong can be dit m ' 8 ' 
cover'd andthewrong'd'Perfon reach'dj and, where 
they cannot,-to make the beft Amends in his Power, by 
fubftitutmg the Poor in the room of the injur'd Par- 
ty. An Example, worthy to be imitated by all 
tho(e,who are Conscious, or Jealous, that fome un- 
lawful Gain may (like the Nail betwixt the Join- 
ings of the Stones) hzve ftuc-k fa (I to them, letwten 
luying and felling. The bcft way of Satisfying that 
Debt (which defer ves to be confider'd as well as 
Other Debts) is, by cafting a Sin-Offering (as it 
we^-e) into fome of thefe Publick Funds and Re- 
ceptacles of Charity $ which are not more ufeful to 
the Poor, than to the Rich of this great City : for 
if they afford the One Relief, they give the Other 
al(b (what they fomedmes may, in order to the 
Quiet of their Confciences, equally want) an hap- 
py Opportunity of bellowing it. Bicher-- 


'8 >A Spital SERMON, 

Hitherto of the firft Excufe for Uncharitablenefs, 
drawn from pretended Inability ; which I have con- 
fider'd the more largely, in its feveral Branches, be- 
caufe it is, of all others, the mod General and 
Prevailing lllufion: I proceed now to reckon up 
other Pleas and Pretences, which, not being of equal 
weight, ihall be handled more briefly. For, 

II. There are thofe that plead Unsettled Times, 
and an III Profpeff of Affairs (whether wrongly, or 
rightly, is not the Caie j but there are thofe that 
plead thefe things) as Impediments to the Exercife 
of Charity. For, in fuch an uncertain World, who 
knows, but that he may want to Morrow what 
he gives to Day ? Who knows,, what the Fate of 
thefe Publick Charities may be, which are now (b 
fair and flourifhing? 

But, if this be a good Objection, it will at All 
Times equally hinder us from abounding in the 
Offices of Charity , fince there is No Time, when 
we may not entertain fuch Conje&ures as thefe, and 
alarm our felves with fuch Fears and Forebodings. 
He, that obferveth the It^md, foall not few $ and he, 
that regardeth the Cloud:, Jkall not reaf, fays the 
*Ecd. Wifeman*, in this very Cafe, and of thefe very 
Pretences : He that too curioufly obferves the Face 
of the Heavens, and the Signs of the Times, will be 
often with-held from doing what is abfolutely necefla- 
ry to be done in the prefent Moment; and, by 


Preachd before the Lord-Mayor, 6V. ^ 

miffing his Seed-Time, will lofe the Hopes of his 
Harvcit. And, therefore, the Counfel there given 
by the fame Pen is, In the Morning fow thy Sad, 
and in the Evening with-hold not thy Hand: for ttok 
knoweft not , whether Jhallfrofper, either this, or that; 
or whether thvy lothjhall be alike good *. Negleft no * Ecci. 
Opportunity of doing good, nor check thy defire n ' 6 ' 
of doing it, by a vain Fear of what may happen 
to thy fel or to Others, after thoa haft done it. 
It is not for thee to know the Times and the Seafons, 
which the Father hath put in his own Poww*. This *Ad$i. 
only thou knoweft, that the prefent Seafbn, what 7 ' 
ever it be, is a Seafbn of Beneficence. Do thy Du- 
ty in it, and leave the Event to Providence : for 
whether thy Work profper, or not, Thou thy (elf 
fhalt furely profper for the fake of it, and not mifs 
of thy Reward. The Bleflcd Jefus went about do- 
ing good, under all the difcouraging Circumftances 
imaginable. Let us imitate his Example, and reprefs 
our Guriofity as to the IfTues of things, by carrying 
ever in our Ears the Reproof he gave to the over* 
inquifitive Difciple, What is that to thee, follow 
thou me*\ If we will not impart the good Things * John 
of Life to others, 'till we are fatisfy'd that we fhall m> "* 
never want them our felves 5 we muft wholly fhut 
up our Hands, and harden our Hearts towards the 
Poor: for no Man, not even the moft Wealthy, 
and Great, and Powerful among the Sons of Men, 
is exempt from the Chances of Human Life, and 

C the 

io A Spital SERMON, 

the Viciflitudes of Fortune. If we will not encou- 
rage publick Works of Beneficence, 'till we are fe- 
cure, that no Storm (hall overturn, what we help 
to build j there is no Room for any Exhortations 
to Charity, fince there is no guarding againft fuch 

boH * Hazards and Accidents. However (blefled be God :) 

><hf fhofe Charities which we now meet to promote, do, 

of all Others, the leaft lye open to fuch Exceptions > 

and Surmifes. For they are not New-fangled Devices 

of Yefterday , whereof we have had no Know- 

?A- ledge, no Experience 5 but are (moil of them) as 
old as the Reformation it felf, and have flouriih'd 
together with it, and by it : fo that, after above an 
Age and an half's Trial of them, we can judge 
furely of their ufeful Nature and Tendency, and 
fafely prophefy their Continuance. They have 
flood the Teft of all Times and Revolutions 5 even 
of fuch as fearce fpar'd any thing that was truly Sa- 
cred and Venerable. When Sacrilegious and Rebel- 
lious Hands had rafe d the Church, e<ven to the Foun- 
dation thereof, and laid the Honour of the Crown 
low in the Dud j yet ftill, ftruck with a Reverence 
for thefe awful Charities, they fuffer'd them to 
(land undiminiili'd, untouch'd, amidft. the .common, 
Ruins : and what the Malice and Frenzy of That. 
Time fpar'd, we have Reafon to hope, may con- 
tinue for ever ! But 

III. There: 

Preach' d before the Lord-Mayor, e?V. u 

III, There are many Men, fenfiblc enough of their 
Obligations to Charity, and refolv'd, fbme time or 
other, to difcharge them: but they defire to be ex- 
cus'd from that Duty for the prefent, and put it 
off, perhaps, to a Will, and a Death-Bed) and think 
it fufficicnt, if they begin to do Good in the World, 
any time before they leave it. A very fatal Error I 
and very fruitful of ill Confequences ! For a Death- 
.Bed-Charity is no better, in its kind, than a Death- 
Bed-Repentance j which ought not indeed to be 
negleded (becaufe it is the bell thing we can do in 
thofe Circumftances,) but yet cannot be rely'd on. 
Seldome do Either of them proceed from a tru ' 
Principle of Goodnefsj nor are they owing to a 
Love of Virtue, but to a Fear of Punifhmcnt. How- 
ever, God forbid that I fhould condemn, or diA 
courage either of them - y any farther than is requi- 
fite to awaken us into an earlier Senfe of our Du- 
ty, and of the Dangers with which fuch Delays are 
attended ! Indeed, when a Man has liv'd in the 
Practice of Charity, he may alib die in it with 
Comfort. But of what great Worth can that Sa- 
crifice be, which we never had the Heart to offer, 
'tilt it was going to be ihatch'd out of our Hands ? 
.If we part with That only which we can keep no 
longer, what Thank have we < Whatfbever we em- 
ploy in Charitable Ufes, during our Lives, is gi- 
-ven away from our (elves-, what we bequeath at 
our Deaths, is given from others only, our neareft 

C i Re-, 

Spital SERMON 

Relations, and Friends, who, elfe, would enjoy it. 
Befides, how qnany Testamentary Charities have been 
defeated, by the Negligence, or Fraud of Executors? 
By the Suppreffion of a Will? The Subornation of 
WitnefTes, or the corrupt Sentence of a Judge? How 
prepofterous is it, never to fet about Works of Cha- 
rity, whilft we our lelves can fee them perfbrm'd ; 
and then only to intend the doing them, when k 
will be in the Power of another, to fruftrate this good 
Intention ? Nay, but be Thou thy own Executor, in 
fuch cafes, as much as is poflible. Inure thy felf 
betimes to the Love and Practice of good Deeds : 
for the longer Thou deferred: to be acquainted wkh 
them, the lefs every day Thou wilt find thy felf di- 
fpos'd to them. Age it felf] that weakens all other 
Paffions and Defires, adds to our Unnatural Love of 
Monyj and makes us then moft fondly hug and 
retain the good things of Life, when we have the 
leaft Profpecl:, our felves, of enjoying them. He on- 
ly, who nath had an early Reliili of the Pleafures of 
Beneficence, will then be perfuaded to abound in itj 
will be ready to give, glad to dijtrilute. Where- 
fore, teach thy felf this Leflbn, whik it is to be 
taught 5 and begin, this very Day, to praftife it, by 
fetting apart fbmething out of thy Stock, for the Ufe 
of forne One of thefe Excellent Charities, which re- 
quire Supplies from day to day : and why, then, if 
thou art not unable, and doft ever intend, Ihouldft 
thpu at all defer, to beftow them ? Again, 

IV. It 

Preachdi before the Lord-May or, &c. 1 5 

IV- It is alledg'd, that the increafe of Charity, 
tends often to the increafing and multiplying the 
Poor j and by that means, proves a Mifchief to the 
Commonwealth, inflead of a Support and Benefit. 
And it muft be allow'd, that, with regard ,to our 
Private Diilrib unions of Charity, there may be feme 
truth in the Obfervation. The Pronenefs of good 
Men to commiferate Want, in whacfbever fliape it 
appears, and from whatever Caufe it may fpring - y 
their Eafinefs to relieve Cheats and Vagabonds, and 
to be wrought upon by the Importunities of Cla- 
morous Beggars, are, doubtlefs, one reafon, \vhy 
our Poor are fb numerous - y and encourage many to 
depend upon the Merciful for their Support, who 
might otherwise feck it from their own Induilry and 
Labour. And, therefore, of the Charity, which we 
this way beftow, much, 1 fear, is mifapply'dj and 
I would far rather be an Advocate for the Retrench- 
ment, than the Increafe of it. But in our Pullick Cha- 
rities, (fuch particularly, as adorn this great City, 
and beautify this Solemnity) there is no danger of 
Excefi j no room to fear, left, by the overflowing 
Bounty of Benefa&ors, they fliould ever (well beyond 
the Neceffities ofThofe, who have a real Occasion for 
them. For they are not like the Charitable Foun- 
dations in the Church of Rome, whole Number, 
Wealth, and dazling Splendor, exceeds all the De- 
mands, and the Defign of Charity, and raifcs Envy 


14 A Spital SERMON, 

rather than Compaflion, in the Breads of Behol. 
ders. Thefe are, indeed, fuperfluous Charities 5 Con- 
veniences to private Perions, but of no real Advantage 
to the Publick: inftead of being Receptacles for the 
truly Poor, they ternpt Men to pretend Poverty, 
in order to fhare the Advantages of them. The 
Charitable Inftitutions, for which I plead, are of ano- 
ther Nature and Tendency; Calculated, not for 
Oftentation, butUfe; to anfwer the chief Ends of 
Human Life, and the neceflary Wants of Human 
Nature: and the more, therefore, they are enlarg'd, 
the more ufeful ftill will they be; nor can the Libe- 
ral Hand ever be too Liberal in fupplying them. 
At lead, that cannot happen, 'till fome Ages hence ,' 
when, therefore, it will be time enough to enter on 
fuch a Confideration. The 

Vth and Laft thing (1 fhall mention) by which 
we are apt to excufe our Backwardnefs to good 
Works, is, The 111 Succefs, that hath been obferv'd 
to attend well-defign'd Charities; with relation both 
to the Olytffs, on which they are plac'd, and the 
Hands, through which they are convey'd. Thefiril 
do often prove unworthy of our Bounty, and the 
latter may fometimes divert and mifapply it. But, 
what then ? Shall we be difcourag'd torn any At- 
tempt of doing good, by the Poflibility of our fail- 
mg> in it? How many of the beft things, that 


Preacttd 'before the Lord-Mayor, &c. 1 5 

were ever done for the World, would, at this rate, 
have been left unattempted ? Our part is, to 
chufe out the moil defervmg Objects,* and themoft 
likely to anfwer the Ends of our Charity $ and when 
that is done, all is done, that lyes in our Power: 
the reft mu(t be left to Providence. What we be- 
ftow on thefe Occafions, is given by us, not as un- 
to Men, but as unto God ; for his Sake, and in obe- 
dience to his Commands. And, with him, the 
Value of our Gift depends not on the Succefs of it: 
for it is true, in this Senfe alfb, what the Apoftle 
affirms, That, if there be firft a willing mind, it is 
accepted^ according to that a Man hath, and not 

accordingto that he hath not * according to that a *.* Cor - 

Man bath, i. e. a fincere Intention of doing good j 
and not according to that he hath not in his Power, 
the effectual Accomplifhment of that Intention. 
Shall We repine at a little mifplac'd Charity, We, 
who could no way forefee the effed: j when an All- 
knowing, All- wife Being, (whom it is our Duty, 
and our Happinefs, to imitate) fhowers down every 
day his Benefits on the Unthankful and Undefetving ? 
For he maketh his Sun to rife on the Evil and on the 
Good, and fendeth Rain on the Juft and on the Un- 
jufi*. He hathbleffedr/j-, event//, the moft Sinful *Matth, 
and Ungrateful People in the World, with Vidory, v ' 45V 
and Triumphs, and a near profpecl: of Peace, be- 
yond, not only our Deferts, but our very Hopes, 


16 A Spital SERMON, 

and without any Probability of our employing thefe 
BleflGngs to the good Purpofes, for which they were 

intended 1 mean, the Advancement of His Glory, 

and the Salvation of our Own Souls. Be ye, there- 
*Mat. v.fore, merciful) as your heavenly Father alfo is merciful,* 
481 even to Objects, that may, perhaps, prove unwor- 
thy of your Bounty, and never anfwer the Defign 
of it. And yet this I muft fay, in behalf of feve- 
ral of thofe Ways of Well-doing, which are now re- 
commended to you, that they are, of all others, 
mod likely to attain their End, and to bring forth 
Fruit; Thofe, I more particularly mean, which re- 
late to the Education of Poor Children. For the force 
of Education is Co great, that, by the means of it, 
we may mould the Minds and Manners of the Young 
into what Shape, what Forrri almoft we pleafe ; and 
give them the Impreflions of fiich Habits, as lhafl 
ever afterwards remain : And, therefore, in the pro- 
moting of This fort of Charity, we aft under the 
pleafmg View, and, indeed, under the utmoft Aflu- 
rance or Succefs 5 if a due care be but taken by Thofe, 
who have the Conduct of Our Bounty. And it is 
a certain Proof, that fuch a Care hath always been 
taken by the Worthy Governors of Thefe, and the 
Reft of the City- Charities j that they have thriven, 
and profper'd gradually from their Infancy, down to 
this very day : as they could never have done, if 
the Integrity, and Prudence, and Godly Zeal of 
thole, by whom they were adminiflred, had not been 


PreacWd before the Lord-May or, &c. 17 

as confpicuous all along, as the Excellence and Ufe- 
fulneis of jhe Charities themfelves. To this wife 
Management it is owing, that the Stream of Bene- 
ficence, which at firft was not great) hath, by feve- 
ral Rivulets, which have fince fallen into it, in its 
Courfe, wonderfully enlarg'd its Current, and grown 
wider and deeper ftill, the farther it hath flow'd. 
Even at this day there are not wanting Some, who, 
{truck with the Beauty and Ufefulnefs of thefe Cha- 
nties, and obferving the Care and Fidelity ,with 
which they are directed, break through all the Diffi- 
culties and Obftruftions that now lye in the way to- 
wards advancing them. Notwithftanding the Ge- 
neral Decay of Traffick, and the growing weight of 
Taxes, and 'the many Rival- Charities which have 
been lately Erededj notwithstanding an Univerfal 
DifTolution of Manners under which we groan 5 not- 
withftanding the prevalence of Infidelity and Pro- 
phanencfs, and of that Irreligious Scorn, with 
which good Men, and good Defigns are now pub- 
lickly treated $ yet ftill, I fay, there are Some, who 
pleafe themfelves in patronizing and encouraging 
thefe ufeful Defigns, and in rendring them every 
day more Ufeful, and more Amiable. May God 
continue the Zeal of fuchPerfbns, and in creafe their 
Number ! 

It will, I am perfuaded, conduce to this End, to 
have a true Account of the prefcnt State and Wants 

D of 

i8 A Spital SERMON, 

of the feveral Foundations of Charity, belonging to 
this City, now laid before you. 

Hen the R E P O R T was read. 

You have heard, what the prefent Condition, 
and Exigencies of thefe feveral Charities are $ and I 
doubt not, but you are difpos'd, and refblv'd, ac- 
cording to your feveral Abilities, to do fbmewhat 
towards the Supply of them. Your own merciful 
Temper, and the Application, I have already made, 
of what has been ofter'd, under each particular Head 
of Difcourfe, might render a fblemn and form'd Ex- 
hortation needlefs. You are thoroughly acquaint- 
ed with the Extenfive Nature and Influence of thefe 
Admirable Defigns j and poffefl: with a true Senfc 
of their Beauty, and Ufefulnefs: You have a near 
and daily Experience of the Uprightnefs, Wiftlom, 
and Frugality with which they are conducted ; The 
pityable Perfbns, relieved in thefe feveral ways, are con- 
ftantly under your Eye, and Obfervation $ and there- 
fore I do, in their behalf^ appeal to your own Know- 
ledge, and very Senfes, which perfiiade more power- 
fully than any Arguments : If the moving Objects 
themfelves, with which you familiarly converfe, 
be not eloquent enough to raife Gompaffion, mere 
Words, I fear, will fcarce be effe&ual. However, 
for the fake of thofe, who have not fuch affecting 


Preached before the Lord-Mayor, &c. 19 

Opportunities, and yet may be well-inclin'd to Works 
of Mercy, fomewhat 1 fhall fay of the (everal In- 
ftances of Chanty, to which the Report (now read 
to you) refers. 

There is a Variety in the Tempers even of good 
Men, with relation to the differentlmpreflionsthey 
receive from different Objects of Charity. SomePer- 
fbns are more eafily and fenfibly touch'd by one 
fort of Objects, and fbme by another : But there 
is no Man, who, in the variety of Charities now 
propos'd, may not meet with that which is bed fuited 
to his Inclination, and which of all others he would 
mofl defire to promote and cheriih. For here are 
the Wants of grown Men, and Children ; of the 
Soldier, the Seaman, and the Artificer 5 of the Dit 
eas'd, the Maim'd, and the Wounded ; of Diftract- 
ed Perfbns, and Condemn'd Criminals $ of flurdy 
wandring Beggars, and loofe difbrderly Livers $ nay, 
of thofe who counterfeit Wants of all kinds, while 
they really want nothing but due Correction and hard 
Labour j at one view, represented to you. And, furely, 
(carce any Man, who hath an Heart capable of Tender- 
nefi, can come and look on all thefe fad Spectacles at 
oncej and then fafs ly on the Other Jide, without ex- 
tending a merciful Hand to relieve any of them. 

Some may delight in building for theUfe of the Poor j 
others in Fecding,and Clothing them,and in taking care 

D 2, that 

20 A Spltal SERMON, 

that Manual Arts be taught them : Some, in pro- 
viding Phyfick, Difcipline, or Exercife for their Bo- 
dies 5 others, in procuring the Improvement of their 
Minds by ufeful Knowledge: Some may pleaie 
rhemfel ves in redreffing the Mifchiefs occafion'd by the 
wicked Poor j others, in preventing cho(e Mifchiefs^ 
by fecuring the Innocence,of Children and by impart- 
ing to them the unvaluable Bleffing of a Virtuous and 
Pious Education : Finally, Some may place their chief 
fatisfa&ioff in giving fecretly what is to be diftribu- 
ted j Others, in being the open and avow'd Inftru- 
ments of making and inipeding fiich Diitnbutions. 
And whoever is particularly difpos'd to anyone, or 
more of thefc Methods of Beneficence, may (i fay) 
within the Compafs of thofe diifferoit Schemes of 
Charity, which have been proposd, find room 
enough to exercife his Chriftian Compaflion. To 
go over them particularly - 

Haft thou been Educated in the Fear of God, 
and a ftnd Practice of Virtue? Was thy tender Age 
fenc'd and guarded every way from Infection by 
the Care of wife Parents and - Matters ? And lhall 
' not a grateful Relifli of thy own great Felicity in 
that Refpcd, , render thee Ready and Eager to pro- 
cure the lame Happinefs for Others, who eaually 
need it> Shall it not make theerhe Common Guar- 
dian as it were, of Poor Orphans, whofe Minds are 


Preacfrd before the Lord- Mayor, tfc. 

left as Uncloath'd and Naked altogether, as their 
Bodies ; and who are expos'd to all the Temptations of 
Ignorance, Want, and idlenefs ? 

Art thou a true Lover of thy Country? Zealous 
for its Religious and Civil interefts ? and a chear- 
ful Contributor to all thofe Publick Expences which 
have been thought neceflary to fecure them, againft 
the Attempts of the Common Enemy and Op- 
preffbr? is the near Profped: of all the Bleilings of 
Peace welcome and defirable to thee ? and wilt thou 
not bear a tender Regard to all thofe, who have 
loft their Health and their Limbs in the rough Ser- 
vice of War, to fecure thefe Blefllngs to thee 2 
Canft thou fee any one of them<lye by the way, as 
it were, fMfp*d y and wounded, and half -dead \ and yet 
fafs by on the other fide, without doing as much 
for thy Friend, as that good Samaritan did for his 
Enemy, when he had Compaffion on hint) and 'went 
to him and bound up his W&unds^ pouring in Oyfe 
and I4^ine y and brought him to an Inn (or Hovfe of Com- 
mon Reception^ (b the Word, -<t^o^oi', fignifies) 
and took care of him ? 

Have thy reafomng Faculties been eclips'dat any 
Time by ibme accidental Stroke? by the mad Joys 
of Wine, or the Excels of Religious Melancholy ? 
by a Fit of an Apoplexy, or the R:ige of a- burn- 
ing Feaver ? and hail Thou, upon thy Recovery, 
teen made feniibie, to what a wretched State that ca- 

22 A Spital SERMON, 

lamity reduc'd thee ? and what a fad Spectacle, to 
all thy Friends and Acquaintance, it render'd thee > 
And fhall not this Affliction, which thou haft felt 
thy fel or perhaps obferv'd in others, who were 
near and dear to thee ; ihall it not lead thee to 
Commiferate all Thofe, who labour under a fettled 
Diftra&ion ? who are fhut out from all the Plea- 
fures and Advantages of Human Commerce, and e- 
ven degraded from the rank of Reafonable Creatures ? 
Wilt thou not make Their Cafe, Thine? and take 
Pity upon Them, who cannot take Pity uponthem- 
felves I Wilt thou not contribute, to the beft of thy 
Power, either towards reftoring the defac'd Image 
of God upon their Souls $ or (if that cannot be done) 
towards fupporting them, for a while, under a Chari- 
table Confinement, where human Nature may be 
refcu'd from that Contempt, to which fuch Objects 
expofe it I 

Once more 5 Haft thou {iiffer'dat any time by Va- 
gabonds and Pilferers ? hath the Knowledge, or O- 
pinkm of thy Wealth expos'd thee to the Attempts 
of more dangerous and bloody Villains ? have thy 
unquiet Slumbers been interrupted by the Appre- 
henfion of nightly Aflaults, fuch as have terrify 'd, 
and perhaps ruin'd fome of thy unfortunate Neigh- 
bours ? Learn from hence duly to efteem and pro- 
mote thofe ufeful Charities, which remove fuch 
Pefts of human Society into Prifons and Work- 


PreaclJd before the Lord-Mayor, sV. 2 3 

Houfes, and train up Youths in the Ways of Dili- 
gence, who would otherwife take the fame defperate 
Gourfes: which reform the Stubborn by Correcti- 
on, and the idle by hard Labour , and would, if 
carry'd to that Perfe&ion of which they are capable, 
go a great way towards making Life more comfort- 
able than now it is, and Property it felf more valua- 

Thefe are the ftveral Ways of Beneficence, which 
you are now call'd upon to Pradift. Many Ar- 
guments might be urg'd, to induce You to it : but 
I am ftnfible, 1 detain You too long 5 and, there- 
fore, frail uft but One 5 however fuch an one, as is 
equal to many, and cannot but have great Weight 

with all that call themfelves Chriftians. It is this- ; 

That our Blefled Saviour went before us, in the 
Practice of every One of theft Four Inftances of well 
doing, which I have now recommended to You. 

His Compaflion and Benignity towards little 
Children is obftrv'd by all the EvangeMs , and with 
fuch Circumftances, as {hew, that he laid great Strefs 
upon this kind of Charity, and did, in a peculiar man- 
ner, recommend it to all his Followers. For, when 
his Difcifles rebuked tkofe y <who brought Young Chil- 
dren unto him, he was much difpleas'd, and fat d un- 
to twenty Suffer the little Children to come unto me, and 
forbid them notj for of fuch is the Kingdom of God. 


24 ^ Spital S E R M Q.N. 

Verily, 1 fay unto you; IPhofoever fiall not receive 
the Kingdom of God, as a little Child, he pall not 
enter therein. And he took thtm up in his 

put his Hands upon them, and hie (fed them * . It was 
/^^ impoflible for him to have fhew'd a greater T-en- 
X J> * 6 - ' dernefs and Concern for the Infint-State, than by 
what he (aid, and did, on this Occafion. And, left 
we ihould ftill be apt to difdain fuch humble Offi- 
ces, and not to think them of Importance fuffici- 
ent to employ our Thoughts j he farther affures us, 
that the Care of thefe Little ones is committed to 
m'mijlring Spirits, who attend continually on this 've- 
ry Thing I fay unto you, that in Heaven their 
Angels do always behold the Face of my Eathtr which 
is in Heavt-n*. And we cannot, furely, think it be- 
Mat. neath us, to iliare wich thofe glorious Beings, in 
Iviii - ia fuch an Admmillraaon I 

As to the Cure of the Difeafd, the Maim d and 
the Infirm, it was his familiar and every Day's Em- 
ployment -, I muft work the Works of him that fent 
me ((ays he, in relation totheie very Cures) whiljiitis 
Day 5 The Night cometh, when no Man can work *' and, 
johnix. therefore, the very lail Miracle he did, before his 
4- Day of working expir'd, and he left this World, 
was, the healing the Ear of the high Prieft's bervant, 
whom St. Peter had wounded, 

His Compaflion towards the DiftraSted and Lu- 
uatick, appears in diveis Inftances : for Such many 


Preach' d before the Lord-Mayor, &c. 

of thofe Demoniacks,kem to have been, whom he 
heal'd in great Numbers. The Defcriptions, which 
the Evangelifts give of chefe wretched Objects, and 
of the feveral Symptoms with which their Mala- 
dies were attended, are very particular and moving j 
and flicw, that both our Blefled Lord,and the Holy Pen- 
Men of his Story, Trcrc deeply affe&ed with them. 
Hear the Account, given by St. Marly of one In- 
ftance of this kind 5 the Man with an unclean Spirit, 
whofe Name 'was Legion! He bad his dwelling a- 
mong the Tombs* and no Man could, hind him, no 
not with Chains} becaufe he had been often hound 
with Fetters and Chains, and the Chains had been 
flucttd afunder by him, and the Fetters broken in 
Pieces 5 neither could any Man tame him. And al- 
nvaysy night and day, he was in the Mountains, and 
in the Tombs, crying, and cutting himfelf with Stones. 
Our Saviour took pity on him ; and we find him 
foon afterwards feting at Jefus Feet> clothed, and 
in his right mind *. * Mark 

Nay, He himfelf was pleas'd to fet us a Pattern & c 2 ' 3 ' 4 ' 
alfo of that fevere Charity, which confifts in Cor- 
poral Punijhment and Correction. For, when he faw 
the outward Court of the Temple pfofan'd by un- 
godly Merchandize, He, who was Meeknefs and 
Mildnefs it (elf, .ipade a Scourge offmall Cords, and 
drove thefe buyers and ftlkrs-QMt, of the Temple, and 
overthrew rJ^%WA*I r l"his he is cxprefly faid to *j ohnxi . 

E have ^ 

26 A Spital SERMON, 


have done, at two feveral Paflbversj and with fo 
remarkable a Degree of Holy Warmth and Indig- 
nation, as made his Difciples apply to him what 
the Pfalmift had faid, The Zeal of thine tioufe bath 
* John xi. eaten me up * ! 

You fee, Brethren, what a Divine Warrant you 
have, for abounding in all thofe Offices of Cha- 
rity, which are this day proposed to you $ and 
which the Saviour of the World did not himfelf 
in Perfon diidain to exercife. if, therefore, there \>c 
any Confolation in Chrift, if any Comfort of Love> 
if any fellowjhip of the Spirit , // any Bowels, and 
*Phii.xi, Mercies^ fulfil ye* the Work, to which ye are in- 
x * vited, and appointed 5 Look not every Man on his 
own Ihingsy but every Man alfo on the things of 
another] Let this Mind he in you, which <was alfo in 
"Ib.iv.j-. Chrijljefus*} who did (as you have heard) in every 
Inftance, what you are exhorted to do 5 and, by Co 
doing, left us an Example, that we Jhould follow his 
Jleps ! Let us look up to him, not only as the Author 
and Finijher of our Faith, but as the perfect Rule 
and Meafure of our Obedience j remembring, and 
applying, thofe few, but Emphatical Words, with 
which he concludes the Parable of the good Sama- 
ritan, from whence my Text is taken 5 Go thou, and 
do likewife., Which God of his infinite Mercy 
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